Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Silkeborg Show

At out most recent show right in Silkeborg, sitting at the side of the arena, I was reminded of yet another valuable piece of Pam's (Goodrich) advice: Don't win the warm-up.  I got to watch a good bit of both warm up and competition.  I was watching an L class, which is equivalent to First Level (this is also the level I competed in.) 

I saw both young horses with professionals, and school horses with inexperienced riders.  It is intimidating to see some of these young horses move... they are unbelievable.  The combination of being well ridden and environmentally stimulated (thus moving with their toes around their ears and their hocks hitting their stomach!) makes them seem unbeatable.  But I observed many horses go into the competition ring and change. For some, their gaits became earthbound when the whip was taken away since it is not allowed to show with a whip here. Some hot horses were unable to deal with the change of venue and were excused. I saw some sloppy riding and careless mistakes. It was a good reminder that every movement counts equally, whether it is an extended trot or a halt.  

It seems obvious to take your best performance into the competition arena, but it is also easier said than done.  Test riding is a skill that is completely different from the ability to train and ride a horse at home. During a competition, it seems nearly impossible to make a correction that looks effortless, continue to ride an accurate test, and most importantly, train and help the horse so it doesn't happen again. I have always tried to figure out what exactly makes a good show rider because I personally find it difficult, as I think many do!  It is so frustrating to have a great warm up, but then upon entering the arena have things fall apart. I am constantly trying to figure out this odd mixture of criteria.  I was happy with my second test on Dino because I was able to ride through it and he was right there with me.  It is a lot to ask of any horse, especially a 5 year old! 

 Precious.  Bob likes the bike too! 
 Yearlings, 2 year olds and pony.  New field yipee! 
 Learned a new braiding technique.  
 Dino and I at the show. 
4th place, 69%!
9:45 pm awards!
 Volunteering as jump crew at the show (Kathryn in red hat)
 The jumping field.
 Volunteering in the kitchen at the show.  Out of my comfort zone!
Off road. 


  1. Sweet pea
    Sorry its been awhile but so love the pics!!! And luv your bike. Bikes always remind me of being young and free! Ask Your dad about our bike rides around the fair grounds and the neighborhood when we were young:) love the photo of bob and the flowers in Your basket! Plus the sheep and cows remind me of animal traffic jams in Ireland. Sounds like you are learning so much about horses, the country, people and cooking!! When you come home you need to cook a meal for U.S. and I!
    So family visit soon! You must be so excited!!! I am for all of you! Take lots of pics! Finn doing well. He is exploring back porch with the neighbor dog. You should see them together. So cute! Total love fest. Puts gray
    and angel to shame! Still so proud of you! No fear, living your dream, and exploring new roads all at the same time! Go big or go home! You're our inspiration!
    Auntie Shannon

  2. Love the new braiding technique! Looks very flashy - would be interested to see how it's accomplished.